I love my Harley horse. And, at the same time, I do recognize that he has some challenges. There are probably a couple more in addition to being insulin resistant, and having EPM, but we’ll just list those for now. Last weekend though, Harley really got to shine.

We had a workshop of four people. Harley, Toby, Kona, and Midnight, were our equine facilitators. The group of women were wonderful, and they all agreed to push the edge a little. They had all signed up for a mindfulness experience together. It was going so well, they were enjoying it so much, they all decided to try an exercise with the horses that could expose some of their inner workings.

The exercise consisted of identifying a goal that they wanted to work toward. This was represented by a square we formed in the arena with an orange cone in each of the four corners. Then, they got to pick one of our horse facilitators, and walk together into the goal box. Many interesting things can happen with this exercise as the participants’ limiting beliefs can be exposed through the horses’ behaviors.

This was where Harley shared his insights with us, and taught us all. He went willingly and as a team with his human participant into the box. She had picked trust as her goal, and shared that it felt good and easy to get him into the box. For a moment, it seemed that she might have gotten short changed on her dose of equine wisdom. Not to worry, however, there was more to come.

The message that Harley shared had to do with her leading him back out of the box. No matter what she tried (respect and compassion for the horses are mandatory!), Harley horse did not budge from the box.

After several attempts, and some honesty about what she was feeling inside and her awareness of lack of patience, I asked if we could offer a suggestion. She agreed, and I mentioned that maybe there was a lesson here about staying in trust and not leaving it behind. Not to mention thinking out of the box. As a group, we all helped form a plan. Our participant (who definitely got a great sport award) agreed that she and Harley would stay in the box. Since there was one group member left to journey toward her goal, we created a new goal box for her and her equine partner.

Harley and his human stayed in the box of trust. After the remaining group member reached her box destination and processed her goal walk, there was excitement for a group photo. As everyone was gathering for the picture, Harley’s participant led him easily out of the box and lined up for the camera. Obviously, Harley’s work was done, and the pair experienced forward movement and success. He had helped us all gain some insight,clarity and encouragement to create new rules, with lots of appreciation for his astuteness. Well done, Harley, well done!

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